Name A.J. Chaudhury
Where are you from?
I am from Assam, a north-east Indian state. I live with my mother and sister. I grew up in the hilly state of Nagaland in an agricultural research complex. It was a pretty scenic location, our quarters being located at the top of a hill, and we could look at the fields and roads and rivers spread out far and wide below. The lack of good transportation was a problem though.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My historical low fantasy short “A Song of Blood” is releasing shortly. I am shooting for a release in the first week of July. After that I’ll release my novel “The Sword of Tropagia” sometime in August. After that we’ll see.
I also recently made a Facebook fan page for “A Song of Blood.”
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always been writing. I remember writing a story with dinosaurs as protagonists when I was four years old. It was collaboration between my sister and me. It was actually a romance, where the hero dinosaur and his girl survive to the 21st century.
Yes, it super weird story though and hopefully it won’t see the light of day.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first truly considered myself a writer about five years ago, when I began writing “The Sword of Tropagia”. Before then I had written fiction too, but only when I wrote TSOF that I thought “I want to do this for a living.”
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
There was this Dinosaur cartoon on T. V. during those days that I was absolutely crazy about. It was probably “Dango the Dinosaur” or something. Dango had somehow survived to the modern age and meets a bunch of college students and they have lots of adventures. Without the show, I fear I won’t be the story teller I am today.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing style is a mixture of the writing styles of all the authors I have read. Throw in Rowling, Martin, Tolkien, Conan Doyle, Kipling, Narayan…and the list goes on.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I based the title of “A Song of Blood” on “A Game of Thrones”. I figured the title should appeal to the right readers. And “The Sword of Tropagia” pretty much revolves around the sword, so the title was obvious from the start.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, ASOB explores the cyclical nature of vengeance and the true nature of myths and legends. As for TSOF, it’s just a fun fantasy novel filled with lots of adventure and is less darker than ASOB.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Occasionally I do throw in heavily disguised events from my own life. Mostly though it’s directly from my head.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The Harry Potter series. The Hobbit. Books by Kurt Vonnegut. Rigante series… so it goes. Booksie.com is the closest thing to a mentor I have ever had. The folks there were crucial in improving my craft.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Yes, I read “The Shaman of Neroterra” a while back and thought it was great. The author, Daniel Adorno, is a new indie author and his writing style reminded me of David Gemmel, one of my favorite authors.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Reading biographies of people in Wikipedia was good support. Mark Twain, Robert E. Howard, Charles Dickens etc It feels good to know I am not the only one struggling.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Obviously! I imagine a day when I can support myself completely through my words. It would be great to be a best seller someday. But I guess that day is yet to come.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. Sometimes you have to let things to be as they are.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My interest in writing originated from my late father. When I was a child he would bring story books and tell me stories of his own at bed time. So I will always be indebted to him. Without him, we wouldn’t be having this interview.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“There will always be blood,
And it certainly needn’t be mine.
For I love my slumber and the wine;
Let the red be washed away by the flood”- Vishva, a pov character from ASOB.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, I find coming up with new metaphors a bit challenging. But I am getting better at it. The trick to getting better in this craft is to write every day, as if your life depends on it.
And it actually does.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, the travelling is mostly in my head. Most of my research is done online. At least for now I am keeping my distance from writing books that require too much of research. At the end of the day, the important thing is to keep the reader engaged in a story.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Myself. The first covers I designed sucked. My covers are way superior now. It took me a long time to get to the point in cover designing I am now and I’d advice new indies it would be best to get a cover designer at the beginning. If you want to go the hard way though, like me, then first take a good long look at the covers of the bestselling books in your genre on Amazon. Next, try to create the easier covers yourself. Keep practicing.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Sitting down and writing day in and day out. Without this crucial step, nobody can be a writer.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Patience bears good fruits. And it’s good to make mistakes sometimes.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
Film? … I guess I would like totally unknown actors to play the lead characters. I love it when a new actor blows me away with their acting skills.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing no matter what. Learn from your mistakes and improve. Find people who are willing to help you. Ignore the naysayers. There are a host of websites, softwares and groups online these days with which you can improve your craft and stay motivated.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I just want to transport my readers to a dream world of my own. I want them to have a good time and be entertained.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently I am reading “Origins of the Never: by C. J. Rutherford. With his writing skills, I fear I’ll have to give him 5 stars.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was probably “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Black comedy done right makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’ll like to meet Hitler. Anybody who wishes to write a perfect villain should meet him and know him inside out.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
My head stone? … The Dreamer.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
My life revolves around my writing, although I am also interested in film making. Someday I’ll be awarded an Oscar for best director…
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’ll enjoy any film that feels honest/ has black comedy done right/ or is just a fun film. There is this bollywood film Haider that I am pretty obsessed with. It is a modern day adaptation of Hamlet set in conflict ridden Kashmir.
I also love fantasy films like LOTR and the Harry Potter series.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Black is my favorite color (though it’s not a color, right?). I like traditional Assamese foods and I enjoy a fusion of folk and rock music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I guess painting won’t be bad. Any form of art will be good acutally.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have two blogs. My author blog is http://ajcahudhury.wordpress.com/
The other is a cross promotion blog for speculative fiction authors http://freefantasygenrebooks.wordpress.com/ Any author wishing to promote their speculative fiction work will benefit from visiting it.
Also, anyone wishing to taste my writing can visit my author blog where I am offering my book “The Drabird”, a fantasy tale set in the same world as “The Sword of Tropagia”, for free.
Thanks for having me!